June 5, 2012

College Volleyball on Television


I have been amazed this week by the number of ads for the upcoming Lacrosse NCAA tournament.  Quarterfinal Action!  Really!  Just by fielding a lacrosse team aren’t you automatically in the national quarterfinals???  Can Equestrian and Acrobatics & Tumbling be far behind in overtaking volleyball as a NCAA tv sport?

I know that I am preaching to the choir, but what is wrong with this picture.  Who/what is responsible for promoting OUR wonderful sport?  Where do we sign up to start a petition to get you appointed to this position?


I hear you!  It is maddening to see other sports garnering so much air time and college volleyball can barely get one semi final match live.  Part of it is that the spring time is away from the beast of football and basketball has come to an end; but then again, espnu is now televising spring football games!!!!

This is where I have loads of frustration with the AVCA. NCAA DI coaches pay the largest membership fees, yet we get little for our budget. 

The AVCA is everything to all things volleyball, and as, such is master of nothing.  My focus is college volleyball and my belief is that the college coaches need a specific coach's association to exclusively focus on college volleyball becoming a premier college sport and the profession of being a college volleyball coach more lucrative.

Technically, the AVCA is supposed to be pushing for college volleyball to be on TV as they are the association of NCAA Division I Volleyball coaches.  A few years ago, the AVCA has a 'media fee' for DI head coaches to get VB on TV;  well, that fizzled out and the AVCA gave up and decided to push sand volleyball down everyones throat.  

We basically have no one or no national organization which wants to DEMAND better.  The AVCA raised membership fees this year, and there was a ton of negative buzz on the chat boards; the AVCA seems comfortable having sand volleyball be the shining light and just depositing membership fees.  I fault the senior leadership of college volleyball for accepting and in fact, propagating this situation.  The established coaches will not step outside of their comfort zone of extraordinary support (related to the rest of college coaches) to challenge the status quo; in a sense, they have 'made it' and don't want to rock the boat.  Because of their success, their status and their reasonable level of job security, they should be the ones demanding that the AVCA do more, demanding that the NCAA do more, demanding that conferences do more - they should be the ones advocating for better treatment of volleyball in any interview situation, in any conversation, in any opportunity outside of the small clique of college volleyball coaches that our sport be treated better.

We continue to fall behind in every collegiate support category, and other sports are just flying by us (how much is college softball on television; like everyday on espn the last two weeks - Regionals, Super Regionals, every World Series game), but the collegiate volleyball people just bury their heads in the floor system hole.  

I have reached the point that I need to focus on the future and that is VolleyFamilies.  It is only by empowering the expectations and voices of the young players/parents that our sport will ever grow into what we want.  It will be because of a groundswell of players/parents who demand more, who say 'why doesn't the volleyball team have promotions', 'why doesn't the volleyball team get supported', 'why isn't the volleyball team on tv'?  It will need to be the young players and parents who come through and demand better to get us there.

It has been clearly demonstrated by conferences and athletic departments that football is king, and the last thing they want is the volleyball child to be heard, just seen looking well mannered and graduating players.  It has to be the next generation of players and parents who step in and say this is not acceptable.

Coach Matt Sonnichsen


  1. It's true that Volleyball sport has poor media focus. The media fee has made AVCA to focus on sand volleyball. Since, other sport gets support and can be on TV why not volleyball?

  2. It's needy to have College Volleyball coach association. Eventhough AVCA has made sand volleyball to be shining, the memb ership fee is & media fee is has made college volleyball behind other sports.


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